Comparing outdoor yields of Trained vs Natural

I’m sure people have conducted this experiment before, but has anyone here done a side by side comparison of 2 clones from the same mother, (1 grown naturally and the other trained, lst or hst) given all the same environmental variables, and compared the end result?
I’m almost convinced that a plant will produce around the same amount naturally as it would topped or trained, given the same environmental variables.
I understand training them means more tops, but it also means shorter plants with smaller colas than grown naturally.
I guess I’m looking at this from the perspective of the efficiency of a machine, even though I know life isn’t black and white and we can’t always see it that way.
If a plant has a certain amount of energy to metabolize how does topping or training increase that amount?
I guess my question is, does anyone have proof that topping or training outdoor plants actually increases yield?
I know it helps indoor growers due to light distribution, but outside light is distributed much more evenly.
@MattyBear @dbrn32 @PurpNGold74 @Myfriendis410 Who are the veteran outdoor growers here?

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Let me tell you the story about the 3 sister.

They were all clones from the same mother. One of the 3, Tammy was her name, was heavily trained, Topping, mainlining, defoliation… All of it.

They were all placed outside. That’s them up front with Tammy in the middle.

They grew roughly the same height, flowered at the same time and I harvested them all in about 3 days.

Here’s the deal, at harvest Tammy gave me about 50% more bud than either of her sisters.

As a matter of fact, all of my manipulated outdoor plants were the better producers. Polly gave me 24 ozs.

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I agree

I don’t, nor have I seen anything other than people say things like “I topped this plant and it provided more weed”

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@Growyourown @dbrn32 To me seeing the pictures of the plants side by side is enough “proof”….but also knowing that @oldmarine knows how to LST in ways such as not to stunt or harm plants but to increase yields compared to other, maybe not so experienced growers that LST for no “apparent” reason especially when they show pictures of them bending plants that barely have 5 nodes….I think this is a matter of KNOWING that it CAN increase yield and KNOWING that there’s a fine line tween increasing or decreasing…there is no proof other than THINKING that the same strain and same phenotypes will grow exactly the same…hopefully this makes sense and this is just an opinion :sunglasses::call_me_hand:t2:

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The problem with that is you have no way of ruling out that largest producing plant didn’t benefit from superior position in regards to others. Maybe soil in one spot was a little too acidic, maybe soil in one position was more nutrient rich, maybe the largest producing plant wasn’t shaded for as much of the day as others.

To me, pictures above are supporting evidence that methods questioned can increase yield. But the pictures don’t prove anything. I don’t grow outside, so I’m not really sure of how different methods behave first hand. But I also cannot point to any proof of anything.

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Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I can be brutal with my plants. I bend and twist and cut and generally slap them around until they do what I want. A naturally damaged plant will do things to increase it’s chances of pollination. That’s all a plant is doing, trying to reproduce. We benefit from that because that means more bud growth and more trichome production. So, a twisted branch will send a message to the plant and I can overload her circuits so to speak.

Please note my above testimonial.

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@oldmarine My statements are made based off the pics and journals of yours I’ve seen :man_shrugging:t2: Not saying harm doesn’t happen but I think y’all understood what I meant…and like @dbrn32 is saying there’s just so many factors that make this an extremely difficult and/or almost loaded question…meaning…some people could swear by the torture and some could swear by all natural…:grin: I just don’t wanna argue…I also might say that given enough time LST would actually increase overall yield but this dives into veg times and details that again I don’t wanna argue about :rofl:

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I guess this could just be situational.
To be more of a controlled experiment, they would need to be planted in same size pots with the same soil. You never really know what conditions of the soil is like, even 5 ft apart as @dbrn32 states.
You may have something here considering all your manipulated plants produce more, but I think there are too many variables to say this is definitive proof. Considering that some clones can have a better start depending on how large of clones you take. With that being said, how does one conduct this experiment in a manner that’s controlled as possible? :sweat_smile:

True, but seeing as how this would be a controlled experiment, if the veg time increases for the trained plant, it will also have to increase for the one grown naturally.

I want to be clear on this, in no way did I feel slighted by your comment. I was just pointing out that my stunted plants are my best producers. I intentional damage all of my current plants…

…and potency. I’ll sacrifice yield over potency.

Again, thanks for the vote of confidence.

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No worries! I’ve learned from everyone here!

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One of my students was surprised when they found out that I was taking courses at 45 years old. Couldn’t understand the drive to learn past getting a job. Told them I’d probably be learning new things 3 days after I die.

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Good for you man! I lack the motivation to sit through classes but have no problem diggin in the dirt for knowledge :sunglasses::call_me_hand:t2:

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I feel like my ability to learn, or maybe just rate at which I comprehend and retain knowledge has declined with age. But my desire to learn has definitely gone up with maturity.

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That’s why I keep it simple.

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Clones I haven’t tried but let me tell you I’ve tried everything from topping, bending suppercropping, screen of green etc.

After 30 years of growing outdoor Cannibis I can say without a doubt I no longer top, bend or touch it. God made it right the first time.

It bends in the wind left on its own , grows up high away from mold, and makes pounds.

Topping, bending etc makes buds that need supporting! Cutting the plant introduces mold etc. In a gurilla outdoor grow leave it be

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So @Growyourown I’ll chime in. I’m by no stretch an expert, but when I spend time in the garden with the ladies I find it very therapeutic. I talk to the ladies, bend, twist, manipulate in response to what i think they need to grow up to be plump and hearty :wink::+1:
I couldn’t imagine just letting the girls go without so much as even defoliating at key intervals. For me it’s about light getting through the canopy, and allowing air/breeze to pass through. I’ve had less issues with powdery mildew by keeping them trimmed. Defoliating also gives me the opportunity to survey the plant for pest such as aphids. Don’t let those little buggers get outa hand. For me it’s about yield, trichome production and maturity, but most importantly it’s about the experience and nurturing something that me an my family will consume ( in some form or another), and I know where it came from and how it was processed. Your original question is very intriguing and almost impossible I would say to measure, especially with a strain having many phenotypes.

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Yeah, I believe there are too many variables to conduct a perfectly controlled experiment.
I wasn’t really including defoliation in my original question though. I know some people consider it training, but I see that as simply maintenance.

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@Growyourown sorry, thought you were suggesting just letting them go without any pruning even.

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I think you’re on the right track but IMO the only way to do is a large scale grow in the same space with training methods done on one sample and the other left au natural. But the sample would have to be in the dozens if not hundreds.

It would be interesting to know what commercial operations do…

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